- No actual confirmed sightings of Snowden in Moscow, rumours he never arrived there
- Snowden aided by legislator cum barrister Albert Ho
- Moody’s downgrades Hong Kong banks, possibly retaliation by the US?
- Vote on HK-US visa waiver agreement today possibly affected
The Atlantic Wire points out that while Snowden is allegedly in Moscow waiting for a flight to Cuba and then Ecuador, no one has actually seen him:
There’s even some speculation that he was never in Moscow (or already left), and the entire adventure is an elaborate ruse concocted with the help of WikiLeaks lawyers. (Their founder Julian Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for more than a year. He is planning to hold a news conference at 10:00 a.m. ET.) No one saw him get off the plane in Moscow, there’s been no solid confirmation that he’s even in the airport, and the only statement from Wikileaks is that “He is bound for the Republic of Ecuador via a safe route for the purposes of asylum, and is being escorted by diplomats and legal advisers from WikiLeaks.”
- Snowden possibly headed for Ecuador via Russia, Cuba
- Hong Kong delayed putting out a warrant for Snowden, requesting “more information”
- Hong Kong residents may face visa complications with US in the future
- Latest revelations: Pacnet once an NSA hacking target
This suggests that Snowden definitely got help leaving Hong Kong. Either the notification of his passport revocation was deliberately delayed, or that the Hong Kong government let him go anyway, contrary to its claim Snowden left via a “normal channel”. There is little doubt, however, of the rest of the countries on Snowden’s path granting him safe passage despite his lack of passport.
Alan Leong of the pro-democracy Civic Party told AFP that he was disappointed Snowden had left Hong Kong so quickly.
“I am a bit disappointed because Mr Snowden actually said he chose Hong Kong as a place of refuge because he trusted its rule of law, but he left this morning without giving an explanation,” Leong told AFP.
He added that the Hong Kong courts would have been able to deal with any extradition applications from the US.
[Claudia Mo said:]”He has abandoned Hong Kong and that’s somewhat sad. Personally, I think Snowden owes Hong Kong people an explanation.”
The Hong Kong government:
Edward Snowden has left Hong Kong on his own accord for a third country through a lawful and normal channel, and Hong Kong has informed the US Government of his departure. Continue reading
So today, finally, the US has laid formal charges on Edward Snowden and the show has finally hit the road. The Washington Post reports:
Snowden was charged with theft, “unauthorized communication of national defense information” and “willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person,” according to the complaint. The last two charges were brought under the 1917 Espionage Act.
[…]The Obama administration has shown a particular propensity to go after leakers and has launched more investigations than any previous administration. This White House is responsible for bringing six of the nine total indictments ever brought under the 1917 Espionage Act. Snowden will be the seventh individual when he is formally indicted.
Alleged interference in Pi Chiu Building Operations
(Martin Oei for Apple Daily)
Despite hiding in Hong Kong, Edward Snowden is still on the offensive, exposing more secrets to the South China Morning Post. Among these revelations is a claim that the National Security Agency has been infiltrating computer systems at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Continue reading
Is Edward Snowden’s arrival in Hong Kong good or bad for the territory? Let us take a look at the possibilities: